Getting a tattoo is serious business. Once you’re inked nothing (except really painful, expensive lasers) can get the ink out. Sarah Gray, a Chicago-based tattoo artist, tells you what you should expect…and what is just plain wrong about getting some sick body art.
Choosing a tattoo
- Let the artist run with your general idea.
- Bigger tattoos can be custom fit to your body.
- Pick something that means something to you.
- NEVER get names. Memorial tattoos are better.
- Don’t just walk in and point at something on the wall.
- Make sure the artist’s station is clean.
- Watch the artist open all needles and tubes of color. If everything is set up already, ask them to open all new equipment.
- Look at the artist’s portfolio, and ask about their apprenticeship.
- Don’t choose a location based on how much it will hurt–it all hurts.
- Make sure you’ve eaten. Tattooing is a long process, and if your blood sugar drops, you could pass out.
- The less breaks you take, the better. You body builds up endorphins that help with the pain, and if you stop, your body will figure out that the process hurts.
- Use A&D Ointment (or unscented lotion), but just a thin coat…let it breathe.
- It’s fine to shower, but don’t submerge the tattoo until it’s healed.
- It usually takes 10-14 days to heal.
- Use sunscreen on it forever.
Gettin’ the tat
Before you ink